Avery Johnson has made all the right moves so far in his tenure at Alabama. He won the opening press conference, he's been media friendly, excited fans, and landed his first big recruit in Dazon Ingram, Mr. Basketball in the state of Alabama.
The next step was his staff. He had already made a great move in retaining Antoine Pettway, whose relationship with Dazon Ingram ultimately led to Ingram re-committing to the Alabama program, while also ensuring that Donta Hall and Brandon Austin will also be in Tuscaloosa this summer. The next step was making good on his promise to not just recruit Alabama and the southeast, but nationally. Enter Bob Simon.
Simon comes to Alabama from Providence, where he was Associate Head Coach, and an assistant to Ed Cooley for the last nine years. He's well-regarded as a coach and a recruiter. His strengths in recruiting helped Ed Cooley bring in talent and rebuild the Providence program to one that has reached the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons. Simon was putting in legwork for Cooley in the South, and was actively recruiting two current high school players that Alabama has offered in the class of 2016, Josh Langford and Braxton Blackwell out of Tennessee.
Simon's hire could also put Alabama in the mix for Providence graduate transfer, Tyler Harris. The brother of former Tennessee player, Tobias Harris, Tyler averaged 9.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg this past season at providence. At 6'9 he would add more length to an Alabama roster desperately in need of it. He's more of a pick-and-pop player, very similar to Shannon Hale in skill set. His minutes and production dipped as the season wore on at Providence, ostensibly the reason for his desire to transfer.
I like this hire. Simon has a good reputation as a coach and recruiter. And having spent nine years with Cooley at Fairfield and Providence, he brings the experience of the college game to CAJ's staff that I feel is needed.